Online Legal Resources
Whether you're looking for federal court decisions, local and state government ordinances, or a lawyer that meets your needs, you've come to the right place. SMLEGAL is your one-stop source for legal information online.
Read through our bankruptcy resources to make an educated decision about whether bankruptcy is the correct decision for you. Bankruptcy provides a fresh start for some by creating a repayment plan or liquidating assets to pay off creditors.
SMLEGAL provides thorough resources on family-related issues and domestic relations. Family Law includes everything from marriage and civil unions to spousal abuse, adoption, surrogacy, legitimacy and more.
Labor & Employment
Protect your legal interests either as a business owner or as an employee. We welcome visitors to learn about workplace laws and standards like minimum wage and overtime pay, occupational safety and health, and employee benefit plans.
Adjustable Rate Mortgage
How the Housing Bill Affects Homeowners with Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)
The housing bill will have a major effect on homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages over the next year. It is designed to make current mortgages more affordable, and it accomplishes this by opening up refinancing options.
Many homeowners are facing foreclosure because of rising adjustable rate mortgage payments. The housing bill provides possible debt forgiveness for these homeowners, allowing them to refinance into safer, more affordable loans insured through the Federal Housing Act (FHA). Homeowners must be on good terms with their current adjustable rate mortgage agreements.
The housing agreement essentially forgives everything over a certain percentage of the initial value of the mortgage relative to the total value of the property. If a homeowner's property is underwater--meaning that it is worth less than the remaining balance of the mortgage--that homeowner can refinance through an FHA-insured loan, saving a large amount of money and potentially cutting mortgage payments by hundreds of dollars.
To take advantage of this program, homeowners forfeit the right to all profits from home appreciation within the first year of the agreement and a portion of these profits over the next five years. In other words, if the ARM mortgage owner decides to sell the property after sudden appreciation increases its value, the FHA would receive a portion or all of the costs over the value of the mortgage. Homeowners should study the program carefully before deciding whether or not to participate.
Top Pennsylvania Lawyers
The Philadelphia attorney provides a much-needed advantage in the courtroom regardless of whether you are a plaintiff or a defendant. He is well-versed in local laws as applicable to a case, whether it is housing discrimination, elder law, or domestic situations.
Going through a court case is always a stressful situation. The process can be confusing for those who are not familiar with how the law works and how a case progresses. The Philadelphia attorney is there to help ease the situation through the court and take a load off of your mind.
A One-Stop Source For Legal Information Online
Legal information can be hard to come by and even when resources are obtained, deciphering the language found therein can often be difficult. That is why we at SMLEGAL have created a database for our clients composed of hundreds of legal documents and resources that help them find the answers they need. Rather than only contain documents with legal jargon, we have created a resource area where understandable information can be obtained. Whether it is information on a New York law firm like Mintzer Law or a client is looking for or federal court decisions on a particular subject, we have it.
Typically, to gather information on local and state government ordinances specific bankruptcies in certain states, individuals have to go through a number of different steps. However, at SMLEGAL, we believe in the right of each individual to have access to all of the legal information they need at their fingertips. The resources we have gathered provide advice on whether or not bankruptcy is a good option, what steps need to be taken, and more. Our database also includes information on family law – which can be anything from adoption and surrogacy to civil unions and marriage – labor and employment and so much more.
We can also help people connect with the right attorney. So whether an individual is looking for a Houston criminal defense attorney or a divorce lawyer in New York City, we can connect them with the best, most experienced attorney in their area.
What to Expect from a Houston Criminal Lawyer
To win a criminal court case, a defendant needs to work with a qualified criminal lawyer who has extensive specialized experience. Finding a qualified lawyer is difficult enough, but after locating an attorney, defendants also need to take the time to understand the exact role of the attorney.
To put it simply, an attorney's job is to understand the defendant's case completely and to provide the best possible representation and legal guidance. A qualified Houston criminal lawyer will often start by sitting down with his or her client and discussing potential case strategies, explaining all of the defendant's options during this process. The attorney will also review evidence with the client and listen to the defendant's side of the story in order to give appropriate advice. Attorneys will often educate their clients on responsibilities, expectations and likely court proceedings, which can be extremely important in some circumstances.
Part of a criminal defense attorney's job is researching the case and looking for evidence. By using a tremendous number of professional resources, attorneys find ways to present a compelling case and to counter the claims of the prosecutor.
The Madrid Law Office offers online resources at http://www.mariomadridlaw.com/ to help defendants understand exactly what to expect while their cases are processed and handled by qualified attorneys. By visiting a criminal attorney in Houston, defendants can get a better overview of their options and find a qualified attorney who can provide appropriate representation.
What is the Debt Settlement Consumer Protection Act?
The for-profit debt settlement industry has been rife with predatory agencies and scammers for years. The proposed Debt Settlement Consumer Protection Act of 2010 was introduced by Democratic Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Claire McCaskill of Missouri with support from the Federal Trade Commission, but it has yet to be signed into law.
This legislation is designed to protect innocent consumers who seek debt advice from debt settlement companies. The goal of the Debt Settlement Consumer Protection Act is to help consumers by limiting the types and amount of fees companies charge while requiring businesses in the industry to provide informative, easy to understand disclosures and contracts. Under this proposed bill, additional power would be granted to state and federal agencies to help crack down on deceptive and unfair trade practices.
Illinois and Tennessee are among the states that have already enacted similar consumer protection laws or updated legislation directed at the debt settlement industry. These states are limiting deceptive and predatory behavior by requiring organizations to provide clear written disclosures and contracts before services are rendered or fees are collected. Tennessee, for example, requires companies to create larger, more legible fine print. In earlier years, companies had deceptive fine print that concealed the fact that individuals were signing over their homes as collateral. Before seeking debt advice, individuals should contact their state's department of consumer affairs and make sure they are dealing with a licensed and insured organization.
Ruling Made On Human Genes Case
Today, a federal appeals court has decided that human genes can be patented. This overruled a previous decision by a lower court that human genes may not be patented.
U.S. Supreme Court Backs Earlier GHG Ruling
The Supreme Court has decided that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to monitor greenhouse gas (GHG) emission such as CO2. This decision upholds an earlier one made by a lower court in June.